5/7/2009--Sammamish, WA, USA..John Mullen on one of the Snoqualmie tribe's dug-out canoes, on Beaver Lake. John is employed as the Snoqualmie tribe's master carver. Every year two dozen or so Snoqualmie Indians convene at the base of Snoqualmie Falls--a sacred tribal site-- to begin their annual Canoe Journey. This year a 100-mile voyage out into and across Puget Sound to a five-day powwow hosted by the Suquamish tribe at their reservation on the Kitsap Peninsula. Each year a different coastal or river-based Northwest tribe hosts the powwow, with dozens of other tribes paddling there celebrate their common culture and heritage. ..The Canoe Journey tradition has been instrumental in reviving an age-old Snoqualmie tribe tradition: wood carving. Needing canoes and paddles to accommodate all tribal members who want to go on the annual Canoe Journey, the tribe established a woodworking budget and secured a carving shed soon after it was re-acknowledged in 1999. These days, four tribal members, led by John Mullen (the brother of drum bearer Ray), work full-time at the shed, making dugout canoes out of old-growth red cedar trees and paddles out of big leaf maple wood, just like their forebears in centuries past. ...©2009 Stuart Isett. All rights reserved.